Our approach to human-centered change often focuses on mindset. Our mindsets drive our behaviors, and our behaviors are what deliver organizational outcomes. If we design for better mindsets, we can change outcomes.
There is an old parable of three bricklayers doing their work, who are asked: “What are you doing?” The first says, “I am laying bricks.” The second says, “I am building a wall.” And the third says, “I am building a cathedral .” The first bricklayer has a job. The second has a career. The third has a calling.
While this story is over 300 years old, the idea is as fresh today as ever. Dan Ariely’s famous study “Man’s search for meaning: The case of Legos” demonstrates that performing meaningful work is as important today as it was 300 years ago.
The insight here is that if you aren’t helping people interpret their work experience in a meaningful way, then they are definitely not working to their full potential. People want more meaning in what they do and it’s leadership’s job to help them find it. (Here is the study)